STJ#1016, Profetiza, Pueblo Mio

I’m sad to say I’ve not sung this very much.

I’m sad because I’ve opted for comfort and chosen other hymns for justice-oriented services, in part because I’m not as comfortable singing Spanish as I am other languages, in part because I’ve not had accompanists willing to try it, and in part because – at least in the last congregation I served – the people would barely make an effort and it would be a train wreck.

And that too is sad. I’m sad for my lack of courage, my lack of perseverance. I am sad that I too leaned on comfort in cases like this, not wanting to die on the hill of a hymn that would, I hope, become a favorite. I’m not sure who it is I’m apologizing to, but to whoever needs to hear it, please know that I am sorry. I know there’s no changing the past, but I will try to do better in the future.

I am also sad, because this is actually a beautiful song. written by Rosa Martha Zárate Macias, its minor key sets a tone for truthtelling, its driving melody sets a tone for action. You can hear a traditional version here, and a rocked-out version here.

Profetiza, Pueblo mío, profetiza una vez más.
Que tu voz sea al eco del clamor de los Pueblos en opresión.
Profetiza, Pueblo mío, profetiza una vez más,
anuncíandole a los pobres una nueva sociedad.

Profeta te consagro,
no haya duda y temor
en tu andar por la historia;
sé fiel a tu misión.


Anunciales a los Pueblos,
que se renovara,
el pacto, en la justicia,
la paz florecera.


Denuncia a quienes causan,
el llanto y la oppression,
la verdad sea tu escudo,
se luz de un nuevo sol.


Esta sea tu esperanza,
esta sea tu luchar,
construer en la justicia,
la nueva sociedad.


English translation by Elsie Zala:

Prophesy, oh my people, prophesy one more time.
Let your voice be the echo of the outcries of all oppressed.
Prophesy, oh my people, prophesy one more time.
Announce to them the coming of a new society.

I sanctify you, prophet.
Banish all doubt and fear.
Be faithful to your mission;
the quest that leads us on.


Announce to all the people
that justice promised long,
Restored to every nation:
true peace throughout the world.


Denounce all who are causing
oppression, sorrow, tears,
Let truth be your protection,
the light of a new sun.


Let this be what you hope for,
the battle that you choose:
To build a social order
with justice at its core.


I didn’t find much about the song or songwriter; the UUA Song Information page says only that it was “written in 1975 and first sung at the II National Convention of Spanish Speaking Catholics in Washington, DC.” I found more about the Rosa Martha Zárate at the GIA Publications page, where I learned that she migrated from Mexico to the US in 1968, and much like other notable singing activists, combined music and leadership to champion human rights – in her case, the rights of Latinx immigrants. She often talked about the power of people organizing to help them ” become agents of our own history and our own destiny.”


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